Baked Pasta Carbonara

Salmon & Spaghetti Tetrazzini

Barbeque Burger Casserole


Cold winter evenings make easy comfort food casseroles a welcome change of pace for supper! A fresh salad of baby greens, crusty buttered bread and a really scrumptious dessert can make any casserole dinner complete. Three simple-to-make pasta casseroles are featured this week. Baked Pasta Carbonara (Karbonara sto Fourno) is a Greek version of the traditional Italian carbonara. This baked pasta dish is easy to make, bakes in 20-30 minutes and makes a great family meal. I like to use farfalle pasta (bow-tie) but elbow macaroni works just as well. Salmon and Spaghetti Tetrazzini is also simple to prepare and combines salmon in a creamy sauce topped with sharp cheddar cheese. Barbeque Burger Casserole is an old stand-by from my cookbook, Dining Under the Carolina Moon, and is a favorite winter night main course at our house. The right red or white wine can turn a casserole supper into a sumptuous feast! Enjoy!

Baked Pasta Carbonara

 (Karbonara sto Fourno)

1 (16-ounce) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
8 ounces smoked bacon, cooked,
cooled and diced
1 pound of sliced cooked ham, diced
1 pound of gouda cheese, grated
2 cups canned mushrooms,
drained and sliced
1 large green pepper, seeded and diced
3-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water in a colander and transfer to a lightly greased large casserole dish. Add bacon, ham, green pepper, mushrooms and half of the cheese. Toss to mix well. Add cream and water and toss again. Top with remaining cheese. Place pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is warmed through. Serves 8.

Salmon and Spaghetti Tetrazzini

8 ounces spaghetti pasta
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 (16-ounce) can red salmon, undrained
1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of celery soup
1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 (2-ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained
2 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, toss with 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter and set aside. Heat remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a skillet. Add green pepper and onion and cook until onion is tender. In a 3-quart casserole, combine salmon with soups, milk, pimentos and eggs. Add cooked spaghetti. Toss well to coat. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Serves 4 to 6.

Barbeque Burger Casserole

2 pounds ground sirloin
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1 (8-ounce) package wide egg noodles, cooked and drained
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided
Chopped dill pickle

Cook ground sirloin and onion in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and return to skillet. Add barbecue sauce and next 4 ingredients to beef mixture. Simmer until mixture is warmed through, stirring often. Combine cream cheese and sour cream, stirring until smooth. Stir in green onions and hot cooked noodles. Layer half of noodle mixture in a greased 2-quart baking dish. Top with half of beef mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Top with remaining noodle mixture and remaining beef mixture. (If desired, cover and chill overnight. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.) Cover and bake at 350* for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake 5 more minutes. Garnish with chopped dill pickle. Serves 8.